Needless, name-droppy disclosure: For several years, Andres Serrano was a neighbor of mine. Contrary to his storied reputation as blasphemy-baiting agent provocateur, he was an exceptionally gracious, cool guy and considerate neighbor. As you might expect from looking at his artwork, his apartment was super duper freaky (he and his girlfriend at the time -– who was totally normal and nice –- invited me to a party there), but he was always a stand-up guy. Personally speaking, I’m not at all offended by his past works of art. I wouldn’t necessarily want to hang them on my wall, but they don’t stir any moral outrage in me. I realize that this does not hold true for everyone.
In any case, I recently discovered a new project of Andres’ that I thought was super provocative in an entirely different way. In a nutshell, after seeing the number of homeless escalate on the streets of New York, Serrano started buying their signage, amassing them into a single collection as a work of art. In his own words, “I’ve made my collection a work of art. It’s a voice, an instrument, mine and theirs, telling a story that needs to be heard.”